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Hashtag MIA: Boko Haram Urgency Fades as Questions Raised About What Admin Knew When

The State Department under Clinton went "out of its way to downplay the effectiveness or lethality of the group," senator charges.

by
Bridget Johnson

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June 13, 2014 - 4:38 pm
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WASHINGTON — As quickly as Boko Haram caught Washington by hashtag storm, the Nigerian terrorists — and their schoolgirl captives — have seemingly vanished from the radar of priorities, even as the al-Qaeda-linked group’s jihadi brothers-in-arms run roughshod across Iraq.

One senator this week, though, charged that the administration never wanted the frightening growth of the North African terrorist organization to receive much attention in the first place.

A month ago, first lady Michelle Obama posed for a Twitter shot with a white placard bearing the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag. The following week, President Obama deployed several dozen U.S. personnel to Chad to help in the hunt for more than 200 girls missing after being abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok.

It’s been nearly two months since the April 15 kidnapping, and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo grimly warned Thursday that the search for the girls is rapidly approaching a lost cause.

“It’s inconceivable to get all of them back. If you get all of them back, I will consider it a near-miracle,” Obasanjo told the Premium Times newspaper. “Do you think they will hold all of them together up till now? The logistics for them to do that, holding over 200 girls together, is too much.”

The ball was dropped by President Goodluck Jonathan not responding quickly to the terrorists, he added. “Seventy-two hours was already too late. If the administration had acted quickly, we could have rescued them. The best it seems we can have now is if the government agrees to negotiate, we can get half.”

Washington’s response was similarly slow as momentum didn’t build enough to put pressure on the administration until the hashtag had been gathering steam for a couple of weeks.

There are some chilling foreign policy parallels between the continuing terrorist attacks in Nigeria and the terrorist takeover now grabbing the headlines in Iraq. The activities of both groups underscore that al-Qaeda is not on the run but metastasizing, and the atrocities of both have been met with calls for political solutions rather than a declaration of war on Islamic jihadists.

While the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) grew out of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Boko Haram started independent and has drawn closer to al-Qaeda along with similarly minded groups in the region like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al-Shabaab.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a longtime human-rights advocate who helms the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, recently returned from Nigeria, where he met with one of the girls who escaped her Boko Haram captors.

“She was numb. Kept talking about her friends, what has become of my friends,” Smith told MSNBC today. “Then I met with a father who lost two of his daughters in Chibok and they are Muslim. Most of the targeting of Boko Haram is against Christians. It is a radical, as you know, Islamic terrorist organization and their end game is the overthrow of the Nigerian government and imposition of a very, very extremist Sharia law that would make women not just second- or third-class citizens but far beyond that. They hold women in contempt and of course they kill Christians, male or female simply because they are Christians.”

Smith stressed that “without a doubt, it has gone from very bad to much worse,” and Nigerians as well as the rest of the globe need to be prepared for what’s “going to be a long war.”

“They are growing in their intensity, not unlike what we’re seeing in Iraq right now with this move on Baghdad. They want to move on Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. And they have already, just recently, set off bombs there. And I was in Jos last September where large numbers of churches were fire bombed and people were slaughtered,” the congressman said.

Obama hasn’t mentioned Boko Haram since his May 28 commencement address at West Point, in which he laid out a broader foreign policy agenda.

“No American security operation can eradicate the threat posed by an extremist group like Boko Haram, the group that kidnapped those girls. And that’s why we ought to focus not just on rescuing those girls right away, but also on supporting Nigerian efforts to educate its youth,” Obama said. “It should be one of the hard-earned lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, where our military became the strongest advocate for diplomacy and development.”

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) this week questioned why the State Department, under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “misled” Congress on the threat posed by Boko Haram.

He cited 2011 evidence on Boko Haram presented to the State Department by the National Counterterrorism Center, followed by a delay in the group’s terror designation until fall 2013.

“Recent evidence suggests Secretary Hillary Clinton and the State Department not only knew of the extent, but also deliberately attempted to obfuscate the issue in order to avoid having to make the designation of Boko Haram as a FTO, including downplaying the State Department’s own Country Reports on Terrorism (CRT),”  Vitter wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday.

“Inaccuracies within official documents make it clear that the State Department misled Congress and the American people. Evidence suggests that there was an internal decision by the Office of Coordinator for Counterterrorism to downplay official, legally required, intelligence data in order to purposefully avoid making the determination,” the senator continued.

Top Rated Comments   
The mystery is what dirty deal Clinton and Obama had in play that necessitated protecting Boko Haram.

If it ties back to Libya and/or Geneva/Iran...the closing of GITMO, the replenishing of the Taliban, the hands off in Syria (or handoffs in Syria), ...there may be a circle to square here.

The nonsensical, lurching, spasmodic foreign policies with all their chaos, implosions and collapses...may be bound together by a small c communist/OWS game plan.

Which is why everything is secret, by-passes Congress, is withheld from view.

It's dirty and it stinks to high hell.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dropped like the Romney "dog" incident when they discovered the Obama Messiah had eaten a dog.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
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Well, pretty much everybody knows by now that this bunch is about as incompetent and clumsy a bunch of goons as ever motorcaded down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Keep rubbing it in, of course. But the word is out...
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
funny how the media can't do 2 storeis at the same time. And how little they think of the public that they willingly stop covering stories before a resolve has happened
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
another case of liberals being all smoke and no substance,

So they got a hashtag out, but no results, and moved on.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well we know the press has stopped covering it. And why shouldn't they? There are fresh atrocities to report and the press has no real interest or motivation and it can't help Obama if they report it.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Boko Haram disappeared from cable TV the minute little more than two weeks that the Sgt. Bergdahl/Taliban trade happened. Which story itself has been rapidly ecclipsed by the sudden collapse of the Iraqi state this week.

All things considered, the only one of the three events that has immediate national security risk for the USA is the collapse of Iraq, now in the process of being partially absorbed by the Iranian mullahs, greatly strengthing their hold on Iran and their threat to Israel and the USA. Israel is on the verge of having the mullahs nearly on their border now. Jordan is suddenly at risk too. Syria continues its civil war, supplying the ISIS fighters who just took over the middle 1/3 of Iraq. The Kurds now control the north, and therefore Turkey is feeling much more threatened on their southeastern border.

Scary scary times - and we have a President without a clue.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Scarier times if you believe he has a clue, and this is all by design.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't believe that Obama intends for Iraq to fall apart - it naturally makes him look bad, even he can see that. I think though, that what really motivates Obama at this point is getting a nuke deal done with Iran. I think that goal subsumes every other consideration in his foreign policy. The deal that he gets done with the Iranians will of course be a farce and immediately scorned and ignored by the Iranian mullahs, meanwhile their sanctions get lifted and they get to have their cake and eat it too.

I don't believe Obama is smart enough to be diabolically effective ... rather, he is dumb enough to think that getting this one accomplishment will make him a foreign policy superstar.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bear in mind that to Obama, Clinton, most Democrats and media the real problem is American conservatives. Given their innate viciousness and power lust we are viewed as the dangerous ones.
Obama is quite content that Iraq is in deep trouble, given the rest of his policies in the Mid-east it's apparent where his beliefs and preferences lie.
You can't keep a good America hating Islamic sympathizer down.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Add one more thing to Killary's list of to dos that she failed to do. Did anyone ever find out about the missing 6 billion from the State Dept., after she left office?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whoever is the GOP candidate in 2016 must hang this around Clinton's neck. S/he or some GOP PAC should run at least one commercial outlining what BH did before the kidnappings, and why the group should've been designated long before November 2013.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, Mandy ... but considering what else is going on, Boko Haram will be among the least of the threats we'll face in 2016. The entire Middle East just got ten times more threatening this week - Iranian Republican Guard troops are already moving in to occupy a portion of Iraq.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Boko Haram are just MUSLIMS doing what MUSLIMS always do and as their Prophet Mohammad recommended they do. Emulating Old Mo as best they can is every Muslim man's duty and seeing as Old Mo was a polygamous, pedophilic, anti semitic, slave owning,vindictive, misogynous LIAR, thief, murderer and warlord they are well on the way to Islamic Nirvana.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, does Boko Haram not qualify as genocidal?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Islam is not a race. To call what's happenng "genocide" takes the focus off of the Koran.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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